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Star Gazing in Georgia

October 11, 2016

In the south, there’s nothing like the cooler fall air to get you excited about being outdoors. For many people in Georgia, October is a great time to go camping under the stars and even set up a telescope to observe the night sky. Find out what you can observe this season and learn where to get the clearest view of the night sky in Georgia.


Georgia’s Night Sky In October

Remote Places In Georgia for Stargazing

Okefenokee Swamp

Okefenokee Swamp, near the Florida border, is the best place to experience the darkest skies in Georgia according to light pollution maps. If you want to stay overnight, check out Stephen C. Foster National State Park to rent a cabin or a campsite.

Crawfordville, GA

Located East of Atlanta, A. H. Stephens State Park in Crawfordville, GA., has campgrounds and plenty of wide open space to get a view of the night sky.

Mitchell, GA

Also located East of Atlanta, but a little further south, is Hamburg State Park. If you live near Sandersville, Ga., you can travel 20 miles north to camp in this wildlife area where you can get a clear view of stars at night.   

Talbotton, GA

South of Atlanta and West of Macon is Georgia National Park, Big Lazer Creek. As a hunting park, it also has some of the richest wildlife in the area as well as darkest skies in Georgia at night.

If you want to stargaze in Georgia this fall, you may want to plan your night around these astronomical events in 2016.  

3 Visible Celestial Events In October 2016

October 16 — Full Moon, Supermoon

See the first of 3 supermoons in 2016. Known by Native American tribes as the “Full Hunter’s Moon,” the supermoon happens when the moon is located on the opposite side of the Earth and is fully illuminated by the sun. This moon phase has also been called the Travel Moon and the Blood Moon and, because it will be at its closest proximity to the Earth, it may look larger and brighter than usual.

October 20, 21 — Orionids Meteor Shower

The Orionids are dust grains by comet Halley. It can produce up to 20 meteors per hour and runs annually from October 2 to November 7. However, it peaks this year on the night of October 21 and the early morning of October 22. So, be on the lookout from a dark location around midnight to get a good show.

October 30 — New Moon

If you’d like to view faint galaxies or star clusters, a night of stargazing on the night of a new moon is the best time to do it. Because the moon will be located on the same side of the Earth and sun, it will not be visible in the night sky. This makes it easier to see other things because there is no moonlight to interfere.

Head Outdoors!

If you’re an outdoor person, take advantage of Georgia’s mild fall weather and beautiful state parks to view the night sky. Do you love to geek out with space and astronomy? Check out The Atlanta Astronomy Club which has a monthly overnight campout if you’re interested in joining other astronomy fans in Georgia.

Photo courtesy Georgia Department of Economic Development.

About the Author

April Lentini is the Content Strategist for GeorgiaGov. She empowers content managers for government agencies, helping them understand and improve their website content for optimal usability.

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